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Upcoming Police State: New laws with e100 on the spot fines for being drunk in public

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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,011 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    TheNog wrote: »
    €100 fine for an offence under Section 4 Intoxication in a Public Place .
    Thats the same as being drunk in a public place. Something you denied in a previous post.
    TheNog wrote: »
    Do you consider the way speeding offences are dealt with draconian? Public Order offences are to be dealt with in the same way. A person will still have the right to go to court.
    It is the manner of which these penalties are imposed. To give the law the right to be judge and jury going about handing out more frequent on the spot fines for being drunk in public is out of order.

    How many people will opt out and take the court option? Will the penalties be the same? Could the Judge turn around and slap double the amount on for wasting court time? (as with penalty points.)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17 ✭✭✭ Stez Styx


    ShooterSF wrote: »
    Sorry if I'm misinterpreting things here but are you saying that if a guard suspects you were a danger to someone or yourself that that's all the evidence needed in itself.

    If so things are fecked up already!

    If not see my post above. As you said yourself it will now either be accept the guards decision and pay €100 or take (your legal entitlement) it to court and face the punishment of €600 fine. So heres the situation, Garda O'Reilly stops me on the street and fines me €100 on the grounds that he thinks I'm a danger to myself or someone else. I argue that I havent done anything wrong. He says either pay the fine or go to court and risk paying €500 more to have a Judge to decide. Worse still him making a reasonable assumption that I POSED a threat may actually be alll the evidence he needs.
    What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    As has been pointed out, the only new aspect to this is a streamlining of the administrative procedures. The underlying fundamentals remain the same, and they are the following:

    If you end up in court on a public order offence and you happen to be a knacker, the judge will take one look at you and convict you; whatever the guard says will be believed. In this instance, paying the fine is an effective way of cutting out the middleman - and is also a way for you to avoid further trouble for yourself, for things like failing to show up in court. It also allows you to avoid getting a more serious sentence for multiple offences.

    If you happen to be a member of the middle classes, then you have the choice of not paying the fine on the spot and showing up in court with a high powered barrister. The judge will take one look at you in your suit and your legal team and won't believe a word the guard says and you will get off scot free. The downside is that your barrister will probably cost more than 100 euros, unless he is a relation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,379 Neil1984


    Its this along with across the board half 2 closing times thatll make Dublin a sh1t night out which will eventually hurt tourism!!! [email protected] arent looking at the bigger picturee...theyre HURTING the economy...forget that they could pay off the national debt in one night in Dublin using these laws!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,649 CDfm


    i have no problem with pubs being open 24 hours.and i dont see a difference of an hour or so in closing time making any difference.

    my prob is peoples behaviour afterwards- not the best im afraid.

    I would also relax and legalise laws on prostitution:p

    but if you liberalise laws you expect good behavior I dont want to be falling over drunks if Im out for a meal or see scottish blokes in kilts showing wants under their kilt:(


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,931 Prof.Badass


    CDfm wrote: »
    i have no problem with pubs being open 24 hours.and i dont see a difference of an hour or so in closing time making any difference.

    my prob is peoples behaviour afterwards- not the best im afraid.

    I would also relax and legalise laws on prostitution:p

    but if you liberalise laws you expect good behavior I dont want to be falling over drunks if Im out for a meal or see scottish blokes in kilts showing wants under their kilt:(

    The vast majority of people are non-violent and would never commit a violent crime no matter how drunk they are.

    The problem is with violent people, not with alcohol.

    btw, We don't actually have a problem with alcohol, it's just hype. We're the exact same as any other northern european nation.

    I remember i was stopped by the gaurds while engaged in some "hi-jinks", he looked at my I.D, gave out to me for a bit, then let me go. However if this was to happen now i'd get a €100 fine. As a penniless student i can't afford this. Come on!!! putting a traffic cone on a phone box (or something simmilar) doesn't actually harm anyone :D. €100 is completely unfair. :mad:


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,903 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Ponster


    vinylmesh wrote: »
    btw, We don't actually have a problem with alcohol, it's just hype. We're the exact same as any other northern european nation.

    I'm not too sure if you're putting France in south or north Europe but compared to here Ireland does have a severe problem with alcohol.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,649 CDfm


    vinylmesh wrote: »
    The vast majority of people are non-violent and would never commit a violent crime no matter how drunk they are.

    The problem is with violent people, not with alcohol.

    btw, We don't actually have a problem with alcohol, it's just hype. We're the exact same as any other northern european nation.

    I remember i was stopped by the gaurds while engaged in some "hi-jinks", he looked at my I.D, gave out to me for a bit, then let me go. However if this was to happen now i'd get a €100 fine. As a penniless student i can't afford this. Come on!!! putting a traffic cone on a phone box (or something simmilar) doesn't actually harm anyone :D. €100 is completely unfair. :mad:
    no problem with the hi-jinks

    prob is -said guard dont know you or know if you would use it as a weapon - i saw someone clobbered in the face with one midday saturday in jervis street.

    blood pumping broken nose etc

    so its not your behaiour that causes the problem - its the other guys and that causes laws to be applied to everyone.

    Not fair but the way it works.

    And what other Northern European Nation are you refering - surely not Sweden they are very well behaved that lot:cool:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,439 ✭✭✭ TwoShedsJackson


    Another day, another Run_to_da_hills OMG POLICE STATE thread.

    I'd say pubs should be open 24/7, definitely. Having them all close at the same or very similar times, and then doing the same to night clubs a few hours later is daft and encourages binging and more trouble on the streets when all these drunken tossers are thrown out on the street at the same time.

    But the drinking culture here is daft too, and I'd be happy to see the Guards being able to bust people on the spot for being ludicrously drunk. And they should be able to stop house parties where people are being antisocial cnuts at 5 in the morning.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    Thats the same as being drunk in a public place. Something you denied in a previous post.

    You still haven't read the legislation have you? or else you have read it and don't understand it. Read it for yourself and stop relying on the newspapers.

    It is the manner of which these penalties are imposed. To give the law the right to be judge and jury going about handing out more frequent on the spot fines for being drunk in public is out of order.

    Again there is no offence for being drunk in public. How many times do you have to be told. The manner of dealing with these offences is the same as the road traffic ones but you don't seem to have a problem with them cos you haven't said it yet.
    How many people will opt out and take the court option?

    How am I supposed to know. It is just starting. I cannot yet see into the future. If or when I can you will be the first to know.
    Will the penalties be the same?

    Probably not. Same with a speeding fine.
    Could the Judge turn around and slap double the amount on for wasting court time? (as with penalty points.)

    Yes that is a possibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,931 Prof.Badass


    France is a mediterranean (sp) country. Instead of getting sloshed at the weekend, they stay slightly drunk 24/7.

    In sweden alcohol is almost illegal. This is where the temperance movment was born! They're all a bunch of mega-prudes over there. :D

    I hate to put down other people's countries, but if there's only a few places worse than us, Sweden is most definately one of them.

    and btw, Sweden does actually have quite a problem with "alcohol related violence" and the like (even though they drink less......hmmmmm:rolleyes:).


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,649 CDfm


    Another day, another Run_to_da_hills OMG POLICE STATE thread.

    I'd say pubs should be open 24/7, definitely. Having them all close at the same or very similar times, and then doing the same to night clubs a few hours later is daft and encourages binging and more trouble on the streets when all these drunken tossers are thrown out on the street at the same time.

    But the drinking culture here is daft too, and I'd be happy to see the Guards being able to bust people on the spot for being ludicrously drunk. And they should be able to stop house parties where people are being antisocial cnuts at 5 in the morning.

    Anyone with Two Sheds must be trusted it and I must agree.

    TwoSheds must be a noble title of some kind.

    Like the Queen of England or Macgillicuddy of the Reeks.

    Heriditary leaders of people with Two sheds - none of this democratic rubbish. Wisdom acquired thru the ages.:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    Neil1984 wrote: »
    theyre HURTING the economy...forget that they could pay off the national debt in one night in Dublin using these laws!!

    current public order laws have been with us for the past 14 years with significantly higher penalties when they end up in court compared to the on the spot fines. but the national debt still remains ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,649 CDfm


    Neil1984 wrote: »
    Its this along with across the board half 2 closing times thatll make Dublin a sh1t night out which will eventually hurt tourism!!! [email protected] arent looking at the bigger picturee...theyre HURTING the economy...forget that they could pay off the national debt in one night in Dublin using these laws!!

    Neil old son - they are hurtin your boozing - you will still drink the same or more but will be a bit more polite:p


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,073 marcsignal


    just got home from the pub, it was a good night, met a great girl I knew years ago, nothing special, just the local, we had a few pints with the people iusually meet there. So anyways,at the endof the night we all left, and I walked with 3 others the 2K walk home. Eventually 'dick head' here decides to have a piss behind a lamppost on the street, patrol car passes, and then does a U-Turn, me does me flies up, and starts to walk with the others,car stopsbeside us and the guard asks me what i was doing (knowing already) me gets a bit of an embarrassing talking to, and no fine :)

    so as regards this new law, in the immortal words of Corporal Jones 'Don't Panic'


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    TheNog: I'm glad you made me do a bit of research, this should make things clearer...

    From the Shadow Report to the Third Periodic Report of Ireland under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (June 08) published by FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres), Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT)...
    222.The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 introduced a broad range of public order offences which the Gardaí rely upon when policing demonstrations and public events.

    The main difficulty with this Act is that its wording is extremely vague and it empowers the police with too much discretion. In addition, a number of sections go further by providing for strict liability offences [452] and fines for intoxication in a public place (section 4) and disorderly conduct in a public place (section 5).

    ...

    [452] Strict liability for a crime is imposed without the necessity of proving mens rea with respect to one or more elements of the crime. Mens rea refers to the guilty state of mind that the prosecution must prove a defendant to have had at the time of committing a crime in order to secure a conviction.
    TheNog wrote: »
    Don't believe everything you read in the papers.

    I'm still waiting for you to disprove the Irish Times and the BBC. And the above report backs them up.
    TheNog wrote: »
    current public order laws have been with us for the past 14 years with significantly higher penalties when they end up in court compared to the on the spot fines. but the national debt still remains ;)

    It looks like this proves your lack of knowledge and understanding of the law. The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 has been updated since it was enacted. (Simply looking up the text of one act yourself is too simplistic... Updates or additions to Acts are unlikely to be outlined in the original Act. While new or older acts, and/or SIs, and/or case law may also be factors)

    Nevertheless, you will see that "Disorderly conduct in public place" is covered by section four while "disorderly conduct in public place" is covered separately by section five. The two combined is what I've been calling 'drunk and disorderly'.

    At the end of section four note:
    "intoxicated" means under the intoxicating influence of any alcoholic drink, drug, solvent or other substance or a combination of substances and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.
    Thus intoxicated is a vague catch-all term. See the quoted section of the Shadow Report above for even more.
    monument wrote:
    Extracts posted on the thread relate to being a danger to yourself or others etc (ie drunk and disorderly). There is another section signed into law since in recent laws which make it an offence to be just simply be drunk in public.

    I was wrong here. I've corrected my self as above.
    TheNog wrote: »
    There is no law which makes it an offence to be drunk in public. If you believe there is please provide a link. Quit scaremongering.

    Section four of the 'Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994'.
    TheNog wrote: »
    There is no drunk and disorderly offence but only disorderly conduct in a public place.

    Yes, there is. Well, as explained above, it's two offences. It's a pritty common term.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    monument wrote: »
    TheNog: I'm glad you made me do a bit of research, this should make things clearer...

    From the Shadow Report to the Third Periodic Report of Ireland under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (June 08) published by FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres), Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT)...

    I have never heard or read that report before but I appreciate you posting. Will look into it.


    monument wrote: »
    I'm still waiting for you to disprove the Irish Times and the BBC. And the above report backs them up.



    It looks like this proves your lack of knowledge and understanding of the law. The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 has been updated since it was enacted. (Simply looking up the text of one act yourself is too simplistic... Updates or additions to Acts are unlikely to be outlined in the original Act. While new or older acts, and/or SIs, and/or case law may also be factors)

    Nevertheless, you will see that "Disorderly conduct in public place" is covered by section four while "disorderly conduct in public place" is covered separately by section five. The two combined is what I've been calling 'drunk and disorderly'.

    With regards to the Irish Times and the BBC I was simply trying to show that both reports clearly show the Drunk and Disorderly was an offence which could/would give rise to an understanding of it being an offence which it isn't. Also peopple on this thread were begining to believe that anyone could be prosecuted just for being drunk which again is incorrect. A law like that would be pointless and counter-productive.

    My knowledge of the Public Order Act is quite extensive as I have used it many times in the past (only as a last resort mind) to prosecute people and so I know parts of it have been amended but for simplicity purposes and to prevent the thread getting too bogged down in law so thats why I didn't want to go into amendments after amendments. The amendments that come to mind are the increases in maximum fines for Sections 6 & 8 from €625 to €1,000 and of course the introduction of on the spot fines.

    I can see what you mean about drunk and disorderly and I accept that but again I was merely pointing out there is no offence called Drunk and Disorderly. The law and its use of is and has to be very specific although discussing it on boards.ie it possibly shouldn't.
    monument wrote: »
    At the end of section four note:
    "intoxicated" means under the intoxicating influence of any alcoholic drink, drug, solvent or other substance or a combination of substances and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.
    Thus intoxicated is a vague catch-all term. See the quoted section of the Shadow Report above for even more.

    The end note of Section 4 does outline intoxication but the entire section has to be taken into consideration for the necessary proofs for a conviction. The key proofs are 1. drunk in a public place and 2. possibility of being a danger to himself or others. It is simply not good nor safe enough to arrest/issue on the spot fine to a person for simply being drunk.
    monument wrote: »
    I was wrong here. I've corrected my self as above.



    Section four of the 'Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994'.



    Yes, there is. Well, as explained above, it's two offences. It's a pritty common term.

    Both of us agree with each but were merely trying to prove our arguements from either end. I believe the term drunk and disorderly came from an old British offence but could be wrong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭ limklad


    With the Recession and the price of drink in the Pubs, sure aren't we are drinking less in the Pubs (Most are already half empty) and are drinking at home now. It just forces people to stay at home to drink and have all night house parties instead.

    Sure "Been Drunk and Disorderly" is already an offence, it just guards are too busy at other things or do not have the Jail capacity to arrest us all at night.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,649 CDfm


    TheNog wrote: »



    Both of us agree with each but were merely trying to prove our arguements from either end. I believe the term drunk and disorderly came from an old British offence but could be wrong.

    So I was right it is a British thing.

    Grandfather was right if you get drunk and making a holy show of yourself its just apeing the British and you should get fined for that:rolleyes:


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    TheNog wrote: »
    With regards to the Irish Times and the BBC I was simply trying to show that both reports clearly show the Drunk and Disorderly was an offence which could/would give rise to an understanding of it being an offence which it isn't.

    ...

    I can see what you mean about drunk and disorderly and I accept that but again I was merely pointing out there is no offence called Drunk and Disorderly. The law and its use of is and has to be very specific although discussing it on boards.ie it possibly shouldn't.

    ...

    Both of us agree with each but were merely trying to prove our arguements from either end. I believe the term drunk and disorderly came from an old British offence but could be wrong.

    While it might not be court language, you'll find 1,000s and 1,000s of references to "drunk and disorderly" in state Agency documents, general reporting, court reporting etc etc etc (I'm referring to Irish examples in all cases).

    I'm guessing it is now codified in sections 4 & 5 of the 1994 Act. But you should really ask the DPP or a criminal lawyer or expert about such. But asking would be more out of interest than something that needs to be known.

    TheNog wrote: »
    Also peopple on this thread were begining to believe that anyone could be prosecuted just for being drunk which again is incorrect.

    ...

    The end note of Section 4 does outline intoxication but the entire section has to be taken into consideration for the necessary proofs for a conviction. The key proofs are 1. drunk in a public place and 2. possibility of being a danger to himself or others. It is simply not good nor safe enough to arrest/issue on the spot fine to a person for simply being drunk.

    It's not incorrect to say one could be arrested/fined for just being drunk. The interpretation of section four and other parts of the public order act as laid out by the named report above should be again noted here...
    222.The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 introduced a broad range of public order offences which the Gardaí rely upon when policing demonstrations and public events.

    The main difficulty with this Act is that its wording is extremely vague and it empowers the police with too much discretion. In addition, a number of sections go further by providing for strict liability offences [452] and fines for intoxication in a public place (section 4) and disorderly conduct in a public place (section 5).

    ...

    [452] Strict liability for a crime is imposed without the necessity of proving mens rea with respect to one or more elements of the crime. Mens rea refers to the guilty state of mind that the prosecution must prove a defendant to have had at the time of committing a crime in order to secure a conviction.
    TheNog wrote: »
    My knowledge of the Public Order Act is quite extensive as I have used it many times in the past (only as a last resort mind) to prosecute people and so I know parts of it have been amended but for simplicity purposes and to prevent the thread getting too bogged down in law so thats why I didn't want to go into amendments after amendments. The amendments that come to mind are the increases in maximum fines for Sections 6 & 8 from €625 to €1,000 and of course the introduction of on the spot fines.

    The reason I mentioned it is you were wrong to say our public order laws are 14 years old... but to be fair I was wrong on another matter as corrected in my last post.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    monument wrote: »
    While it might not be court language, you'll find 1,000s and 1,000s of references to "drunk and disorderly" in state Agency documents, general reporting, court reporting etc etc etc (I'm referring to Irish examples in all cases).

    I'm guessing it is now codified in sections 4 & 5 of the 1994 Act. But you should really ask the DPP or a criminal lawyer or expert about such. But asking would be more out of interest than something that needs to be known.

    OK we can agree that drunk and disorderly is layman language but nothing more.

    monument wrote: »
    It's not incorrect to say one could be arrested/fined for just being drunk. The interpretation of section four and other parts of the public order act as laid out by the named report above should be again noted here...
    222.The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 introduced a broad range of public order offences which the Gardaí rely upon when policing demonstrations and public events.

    The main difficulty with this Act is that its wording is extremely vague and it empowers the police with too much discretion. In addition, a number of sections go further by providing for strict liability offences [452] and fines for intoxication in a public place (section 4) and disorderly conduct in a public place (section 5).

    ...

    [452] Strict liability for a crime is imposed without the necessity of proving mens rea with respect to one or more elements of the crime. Mens rea refers to the guilty state of mind that the prosecution must prove a defendant to have had at the time of committing a crime in order to secure a conviction.

    Why are you using a report when we are talking about law? If you were in court for a public order offence the judge wouldn't even listen to you if you began talking about this report. It is simply a report nothing more and it does not give a proper interpretation of the said section. Please read the actual wording of Section 4 here

    4.—(1) It shall be an offence for any person to be present in any public place while intoxicated to such an extent as would give rise to a reasonable apprehension that he might endanger himself or any other person in his vicinity.
    [GA]

    (2) A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £100.
    [GA]

    (3) Where a member of the Garda Síochána suspects, with reasonable cause, that an offence under this section or under section 5 or 6 is being committed, the member concerned may seize, obtain or remove, without warrant, any bottle or container, together with its contents, which—
    [GA]

    ( a ) is in the possession, in a place other than a place used as a dwelling, of a person by whom such member suspects the offence to have been committed, and
    [GA]

    ( b ) such member suspects, with reasonable cause, contains an intoxicating substance:
    [GA]

    Provided that, in the application of this subsection to section 5 or 6, any such bottle or container, together with its contents, may only be so seized, obtained or removed where the member of the Garda Síochána suspects, with reasonable cause, that the bottle or container or its contents, is relevant to the offence under section 5 or 6 which the member suspects is being committed.
    [GA]

    (4) In this section—
    [GA]

    "bottle or container" does not include a bottle or container for a substance which is in the possession of the person concerned for a purpose other than the intoxication of that or any other person;
    [GA]

    "intoxicated" means under the intoxicating influence of any alcoholic drink, drug, solvent or other substance or a combination of substances and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.

    Anyways the problem I have with the above report where it states the Mens Rea does not have to proved for public order offences is how can anyone prove the criminal state of mind of a person when they are absolutely pissed drunk? The reality of it is that the most decent person can do something stupid with too much to drink and without any intention or recollection of their actions.
    monument wrote: »
    The reason I mentioned it is you were wrong to say our public order laws are 14 years old... but to be fair I was wrong on another matter as corrected in my last post.

    Our current public order act is 14 years old despite some recent amendments. I am not talking any other public order acts which were repealed following the 1994 act. If you think I am wrong then tell me what year are is the current act?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 564 ✭✭✭ steph1


    KaG wrote: »
    Well this is just ****ing great, isn't it ! Now I'll have to bring an extra €100 out to town :pac:

    :) And risk being robbed somewhere along the way :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,011 ✭✭✭✭ Run_to_da_hills


    steph1 wrote: »
    :) And risk being robbed somewhere along the way :D
    No, just stick to the route with all the Garda CCTV's and you will be safe. :D


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    TheNog wrote: »
    Why are you using a report when we are talking about law?

    Because -- as you know well -- interpretation is important.
    TheNog wrote: »
    If you were in court for a public order offence the judge wouldn't even listen to you if you began talking about this report.

    Yes, rightly so. A judge cannot really start looking at such matters as we're talking about. You'd have to seek leave for a constitutional challenge (which you'd need a lot of money for).

    However, you might want to note that a number of judges (one in Mayo comes to mind) have said they can no longer take the word of an officer alone in light of Garda wrongdoings.
    TheNog wrote: »
    It is simply a report nothing more and it does not give a proper interpretation of the said section. Please read the actual wording of Section 4 here

    I would trust the interpretation by the groups who wrote the report more then I would trust my reading of the written law.
    TheNog wrote: »
    Anyways the problem I have with the above report where it states the Mens Rea does not have to proved for public order offences is how can anyone prove the criminal state of mind of a person when they are absolutely pissed drunk? The reality of it is that the most decent person can do something stupid with too much to drink and without any intention or recollection of their actions.

    The problem of this law (as with other sections of the public order acts), is it criminalises something that traditionally not criminal and it does this in a pre-emptive way.

    You're going into Thought Police kind of laws Orwell predicted.

    Normally you have to prove a criminal state of mind relating to an act. With this there is no criminal act. It is pre-emptive of an act. It criminalises a possable act... You would only have to prove is a criminal state of mind and as mentioned by the report you don't have to even do that!.

    You said how does "anyone prove the criminal state of mind of a person when they are absolutely pissed drunk?"... how do you do so in a pre-emptive way without somebody being absolutely pissed drunk?

    There may have been good intentions in putting place these public order acts, but at the end of the day such intentions were misguided.
    TheNog wrote: »
    Our current public order act is 14 years old despite some recent amendments. I am not talking any other public order acts which were repealed following the 1994 act. If you think I am wrong then tell me what year are is the current act?
    ...Anyway you said...
    TheNog wrote: »
    current public order laws have been with us for the past 14 years with significantly higher penalties when they end up in court compared to the on the spot fines. but the national debt still remains ;)

    I very much don't know what you mean by the "current act". The 1994 act is the one we're talking about... But the 2003 act could be seen more current?

    Even if you just look at the 1994 act, the act may have been with us since then but it's simple not true to say "public order laws have been with us for the past 14 years" the act and the law has been updated, thus the law is not 14 years old (a statement which implies there has been no change in 14 years, there has).

    Anyway, I'm getting into semantics here, but you seem to be asking for careful wording on wording on one side while using relaxed wording your self.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    monument wrote: »
    However, you might want to note that a number of judges (one in Mayo comes to mind) have said they can no longer take the word of an officer alone in light of Garda wrongdoings.

    But sections 4,5,6 & 8 usually require evidence from a Garda only. How feasible would it be for guards to take statements from possible witnesses who may be as intoxicated as the person being arrested. I realise that damage was caused by the likes of Donegal fiasco but I don't think a Judge should paint us all with the same brush. In fact oral evidence could then be questionable in all cases of criminal acts.
    monument wrote: »
    I would trust the interpretation by the groups who wrote the report more then I would trust my reading of the written law.

    But Section 4 is written in simple terms and does not require any great interpretation. It is there in black and white.

    monument wrote: »
    The problem of this law (as with other sections of the public order acts), is it criminalises something that traditionally not criminal and it does this in a pre-emptive way.

    You're going into Thought Police kind of laws Orwell predicted.

    Normally you have to prove a criminal state of mind relating to an act. With this there is no criminal act. It is pre-emptive of an act. It criminalises a possable act... You would only have to prove is a criminal state of mind and as mentioned by the report you don't have to even do that!.

    You said how does "anyone prove the criminal state of mind of a person when they are absolutely pissed drunk?"... how do you do so in a pre-emptive way without somebody being absolutely pissed drunk?

    There may have been good intentions in putting place these public order acts, but at the end of the day such intentions were misguided.

    Section 4 is not used to preempt a criminal act. It is a power to arrest a person for their own safety.
    monument wrote: »
    ...Anyway you said...


    I very much don't know what you mean by the "current act". The 1994 act is the one we're talking about... But the 2003 act could be seen more current?

    Even if you just look at the 1994 act, the act may have been with us since then but it's simple not true to say "public order laws have been with us for the past 14 years" the act and the law has been updated, thus the law is not 14 years old (a statement which implies there has been no change in 14 years, there has).

    Anyway, I'm getting into semantics here, but you seem to be asking for careful wording on wording on one side while using relaxed wording your self.

    I have already stated the 1994 act was amended but it is still the Principal act and the amendments are not stand alone acts by themselves so yes our public order act is 14 yrs old.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    TheNog wrote: »
    But sections 4,5,6 & 8 usually require evidence from a Garda only. How feasible would it be for guards to take statements from possible witnesses who may be as intoxicated as the person being arrested. I realise that damage was caused by the likes of Donegal fiasco but I don't think a Judge should paint us all with the same brush. In fact oral evidence could then be questionable in all cases of criminal acts.

    Indeed, it goes further then I would. But at the same time oral evidence from one person/group against another person/group isn't strong to start with and there is an unhealthy over reliance on such which tends to cause problems from small cases to Donegal scale.

    The Judges are more acutely aware than most people that the mess ups concerning the Gardai stretch far beyond one section of the country. I don't think it is about "paint" you all with the same brush, but rather there can't be reasonable doubt in the Judges' minds. But in any case I can't speak for such Judges.

    Just to qualify what I'm saying and my general view point: I am the type of person who will -- to my own inconvenience -- report crime to the police and who has -- to a large inconvenience -- made a statement about such crimes etc. I'm not a nut who thinks the whole force are bent. At the same time I'm of the view of simply putting it down to "bad apples", is wrong -- you need system changes (some of which has been put in place) and I'd include removing/fixing laws which are open to a high level of abuse such as much of the public order acts.
    TheNog wrote: »
    But Section 4 is written in simple terms and does not require any great interpretation. It is there in black and white.

    Every law is open to interpretation of one level or another.
    TheNog wrote: »
    Section 4 is not used to preempt a criminal act. It is a power to arrest a person for their own safety.

    Read what I said again:
    With this there is no criminal act. It is pre-emptive of an act. It criminalises a possible act. [one which may or may not take place]
    If somebody is at a state where they need to be arrested for their own safety they would/should be in a state of disorder, which is cover by section 5. There is no need for section 4 as a stand alone section.

    Noting the above, can I again ask you to answer the following: You said how does "anyone prove the criminal state of mind of a person when they are absolutely pissed drunk?"... how do you do so in a pre-emptive way without somebody being absolutely pissed drunk (taking note that section four does not qualify intoxication / drunkenness in any way)?
    TheNog wrote: »
    I have already stated the 1994 act was amended but it is still the Principal act and the amendments are not stand alone acts by themselves so yes our public order act is 14 yrs old.

    In the first case you said: "current public order laws have been with us for the past 14 years," such is incorrect. Never mind tho as it's far from central to what we're talking about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    monument wrote: »
    Indeed, it goes further then I would. But at the same time oral evidence from one person/group against another person/group isn't strong to start with and there is an unhealthy over reliance on such which tends to cause problems from small cases to Donegal scale.

    I agree it could be possible of gardai lying in the box while giving evidence but as far as I remember there is no evidence of that recently.
    monument wrote: »
    Just to qualify what I'm saying and my general view point: I am the type of person who will -- to my own inconvenience -- report crime to the police and who has -- to a large inconvenience -- made a statement about such crimes etc.

    I applaud the time you have spent on giving statements and going to court etc. Fair play to you.
    monument wrote: »
    I'm not a nut who thinks the whole force are bent. At the same time I'm of the view of simply putting it down to "bad apples", is wrong -- you need system changes (some of which has been put in place) and I'd include removing/fixing laws which are open to a high level of abuse such as much of the public order acts.

    There are 'bad apples' or people who abuse their position in the Gardai and I and many of my colleagues (that I know of) despise them to the highest. Systems and procedures are in place for the outing of these people which everyone (Gardai and the Public) hopes will work. If they don;t work then something else will be tried. Only time will tell but no one can say for sure something along the lines of Donegal will happen again but I sure hope not.

    If the public order offences were to be taken off the statute books, what could we replace it with? Public order offences occur everyday of the week across the country. How could we tackle it?

    monument wrote: »
    Read what I said again:
    With this there is no criminal act. It is pre-emptive of an act. It criminalises a possible act. [one which may or may not take place]
    If somebody is at a state where they need to be arrested for their own safety they would/should be in a state of disorder, which is cover by section 5. There is no need for section 4 as a stand alone section.

    There is a big difference between section 4 and 5. I think we can agree that section 4 is used when someone who is intoxicated is arrested for their own safety. Section 5 however is used when someone is acting in an offensive manner in public.
    So there is a need for the two offences cos they with different types of behaviour.
    monument wrote: »
    Noting the above, can I again ask you to answer the following: You said how does "anyone prove the criminal state of mind of a person when they are absolutely pissed drunk?"... how do you do so in a pre-emptive way without somebody being absolutely pissed drunk (taking note that section four does not qualify intoxication / drunkenness in any way)?

    ok its clear to me that you have not read the piece of legislation or don;t understand it but it clearly states intoxication is explained as a footnote.

    monument wrote: »
    In the first case you said: "current public order laws have been with us for the past 14 years," such is incorrect. Never mind tho as it's far from central to what we're talking about.

    How can you say that? I have prosecuted many people for public order so are you saying that all the charge sheets and summons I have served are wrong? I think if they were a judge would have picked up on it tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,344 ✭✭✭✭ Dyr


    I agree it could be possible of gardai lying in the box while giving evidence but as far as I remember there is no evidence of that recently

    Depends on what you class as evidence really.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,160 ✭✭✭ TheNog


    Bambi wrote: »
    Depends on what you class as evidence really.
    If you are talking about the evidence given in the box it is called oral evidence but if you are talking about evidence of corruption or lying under oath then afaik there is no recent evidence of corruption.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,344 ✭✭✭✭ Dyr


    Theres a thread further down in AH about an off duty garda concoting an assault claim out of thin air. A guy i know was wound up with a conviction that cost him his job when a garda changed his version of what transpired once he was in the box, so yeah it depends on what you accept as evidence that this stuff goes on.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 964 Boggle


    If you are talking about the evidence given in the box it is called oral evidence but if you are talking about evidence of corruption or lying under oath then afaik there is no recent evidence of corruption.
    None thats made the news you mean.
    Personally, having seen the gardai here and knowing how bent they are from personal experience, I do not accept that there has been any great reform of the gardai.
    Neither would a judge when faced with a non-scumbag so thats why this bill was introduced so that you could remove the discretion of a judge.

    I do however, belive that there are some very good gardai out there who genuinely believe in what they are doing. Unfortunately, I belive that the only way to help these guys is to cull the bad apples out of the force so that wanting to do your job does not make you a leper.


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